A vision of the Philippine future!!!

This is not your granddaughter’s Philippines [edited]

By Joe America

Let’s imagine a likely future for the Philippines. We can draw our deductions from the trends we currently see, including current events, popular will, and various government acts. I shall presume that readers are fairly well versed on social, political, and economic developments in the Philippines.

If you have questions or disagree with the projections, please make your points in the discussion that follows the article. That’s the main purpose of this blog. Remember that hopes and wishes are not exactly analytical.

To help with the discussion, I have asked my bookie Sal to attach some probabilities to various predictions. You might choose to have your own bookie or AI calculator put some estimates to them as well.

Here we go. This is what we will see in the Philippines over the next 10 or 20 years:

Representative government is on the way out in favor of a federation of dynastic states headed by a strongman. The Constitution will cease to be a document of, by, and for the people, and will be reconfigured to be of, by, and for the entitled. This mock-democracy may be representative, but, like today, representatives will look up, not down, as they craft laws and line their pockets. Sal estimates there is an 85% chance that material changes to the Constitution will be made within the next five years, and a 98% chance of it occurring within 10 years as successors to President Duterte follow in his strongman footsteps (Marcos, Pacquiao, or Duterte II).

The economy will remain robust over the short, middle, and long term as Chinese firms move in to replace Western companies that depart. Economic well-being will be bolstered by an increasing number of OFW’s, many of whom will go directly to mainland China as the Philippines continues to produce the best and brightest servant class in the world. China will come to dominate Philippine mining, construction, agribusiness, fishing, and manufacturing sectors within 20 years. Sal puts the chance of economic collapse at a mere 5%.

Brains will drain out of the country, leaving the population as a hard-working, frustrated, discouraged, vacuous lot susceptible to propaganda and emotional appeals made by a strongman leader whom they will admire, having long ago forgotten how real father figures ought to behave. A material brain drain is a 95% probability as people of high character and intellect seek opportunities in lands that can provide them. The Philippines will be bogged down in natural disasters, regional wars, ethnic conflicts (Chinese vs. Filipino), and governmental incompetence, factors that will limit career opportunities for Filipinos. As is the case in today’s government, advancement will be determined by the concessions one is willing to make to the entitled . . . not competence.

The Philippines will not rise to become a leader in Asia as internal turmoil, natural disasters, and corruption sap what little wealth, intellectual, and management authority is left behind by those fleeing. The job of leading non-Chinese Asia will fall to Japan and Viet Nam. In the Philippines, a government managed by the unskilled elite, doling out favors rather than solving problems forthrightly, will muddle along as Filipinos far and wide continue to bear their burdens obediently. Many will drop out to join Muslim or communist rebellions. Sal puts the probability of the Philippines keeping pace with Viet Nam as a nation others emulate at less than 3%.

Drugs will continue to be a ‘managed problem’ that, along with rebellion, will bolster the State’s arguments for ruthless totalitarian controls. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will give in to strongman authority sooner rather than later as honorable oldies are phased out and those who get high on power are promoted. Sal puts the chance at 85% that the military, along with the police, will be ruthless arms of enforcement within the Philippines by the end of the Duterte term.

Free expressions such as this blog will be gone within five years, banned by a government that insists on one version of the truth. Journalism will cease to exist. Mass media organizations will be run by propaganda teams. Within 10 years, the internet will be controlled as China currently controls access to the internet by its citizens. The probability that citizens will be freely able to express themselves, media will be objective, and the internet will be open-access is less than 15%.

Lots of old people will reflect fondly on what it used to be like during the six years of sanity and hope provided by President Noynoy Aquino. Guaranteed. 100% probability.

Summarizing, the three main themes of the Philippine future will be:

  • Dynastic, authoritarian government acting as an annex to China with leaders well-compensated for their allegiances to a foreign power and money.
  • Independent Filipino thought and courage stripped bare as capable people leave the country and government slots are filled by obedient but incompetent opportunists who manipulate messages received by citizens.
  • Filipinos will be the best and brightest servant class in the world and, domestically, provide a huge, inexpensive labor base for the accumulation of wealth by the elite and China.


188 Responses to “A vision of the Philippine future!!!”
  1. madlanglupa says:

    > Filipinos will be the best and brightest servant class in the world and, domestically, provide a huge, inexpensive labor base for the accumulation of wealth by the elite and China.

    I do read that there are plans to open China to… indentured labor, which is pretty much disturbing and indicating that this government is not willing to end unemployment and labor issues.

    Unless people realize what a mistake they made in choosing leaders on emotional basis than realities and so they must switch and fight, this country will be seeing a succession of ultra-rightist strongmen relying on fundamentalist principles, sycophants, and a burgeoning state-capital empire striving to attain supremacy by 2049.

    • That sure seems the direction. I don’t know of emotional people suddenly going rational. I’d the best chance of stopping this trend would be to discover or create an emotionalized good leader.

      • madlanglupa says:

        > I don’t know of emotional people suddenly going rational.

        If and only if the current system gets one of their relatives killed.

        Offtopic: asides from the free (and slow) wifi on MRT, another example of “bread” in “bread and circuses”, this time to appease the militant students:

        • Francis says:

          I have to disagree. The free tuition bill is not a purely populist policy; the motives behind it may have been populist, but it was decent legislation that fittingly built on the incremental progress (K12, UNIFAST) already undertaken.

          I mean, it’s pretty much UNIFAST + “Free Tuition” mandate. It builds on UNIFAST to allow the lower middle class (via affirming student loans as a key part of policy) and poor (via covering Other School Fees through a targeted system that priotizes the poor & making TVIs—technical vocational institutions—also free, which is something that frankly a lot of people are ignoring…which is strange because this not only makes the bill less disproportionately beneficial in favor of the middle class, but also blunts a possible oversupply of college graduates who might turn out to be baristas for lack of a job/job mismatch.

          (Frankly, I see the bill as a huge pseudo-tax break for the middle and lower middle class that helps keep their economic gains—esp. the latter’—more secure. But I understand that economists have valid worries regarding its expensiveness, which is honestly the only thing that you can’t go around—in which case, I wouldn’t mind replacing the free tuition mandate with a radically expanded student loan provision, as the student loan provision is awfully generous: you pay only when you get a job whose income meets a level set by the gov’t, and you pay that through SSS/GSIS contributions, so you don’t get pinched directly.

          I mean, regardless of whether one thinks the bill is a victory for social justice and a fairer society—or a fiscal cancer waiting to burst, the way the bill got in (good or ill) is a testament to the potential (and perhaps hidden strength) of PH democracy.

          I’m not saying this because agree with the bill—I mean, let’s assess what has happened. A bunch of citizens (student activists, primarily on the Left) decided to use their constitutional rights to organize and lobby the state to ensure free tuition. In the beginning, it’s a fringe position. Suddenly, some politicians (i.e. Bam) see that it’s not a bad idea after all—despite not being on the same ideological (Bam Aquino’s key advocacy is small business and his other recent proposal is a venture fund for start-ups—not exactly your neighborhood socialist) wavelength. This is great. It means a policy is gradually entering the mainstream. Soon, momentum gathers until there is a general consensus that this policy should be implemented; as the bill travels the legislature, it is not uncritically accepted—our economists enter the public debate (again protected and facilitated by constitutional rights) to remind us of the big costs of this policy. The President, to his credit, takes his time and thinks carefully. Eventually, he uses the prerogative of his office to approve the bill.

          Like the bill or not, this is how democracy works. You could easily apply the same process for how legislation like gay marriage legalization occurs. Of courseC there’s the chance that it may be a dud bill—but democracy isn’t perfect. However, more importantly, this is how “bipartisan work” works—whether this bill gives us a truly equitable society or this bill condemns our treasury to fiscal limbo, it’s all on us…

          …which is, if you don’t mind this random person venting, what irritates me about the current “atmosphere” in social media. It frankly disgusts me that netizens all squabbling online for who gets the credit for this legislation like children. Sometimes, to the point of badmouthing good people who also supported the policy just because they happen to be from a different political faction; can’t we all be winners for once? Ugh.

          • chemrock says:

            Well said Francis. You make a lot of sense.
            My concern only is that freebies almost always churn out terrible wastage. And for any reason when the time comes for its withdrawal, you get terrible protests. I like your soft loan approach. Another option may be sharing approach. 50-50 or 30-70 or whatever ratio so long as students pick up some tab.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Chemrock I are firmly of the view that free tertiary education is crucial to the development of a humane society and culture. We did it here in Australia once for 17 years from 1972-1999.

              And yes a lot of people started doing courses that were of little ‘economic value’. For example ( this was cited at the time ) housewives with kids at child care returned to study courses at uni in English and foreign languages and psychology etc..

              But they were of enormous personal educational, psychological, social value. It really had a long term deepening our society’s awareness….

              In 1990. our Education Minister, from the Labor Party, and a millionaire named John Dawkins, changed this to make it a deferred payment tertiary education scheme. for all courses.. And now graduates emerge from Uni with huge debts of $100,000 or more to be paid later in life.

              Dawkins was so rich he had no idea what his ‘reforms’ would do. And exactly how he became the Labor party Minister for Education is beyond my understanding.

              Turning this to the Philippines, from my knowledge of what happened here : I think Dutters may by pure accident have done something useful & good.

          • madlanglupa says:

            Normally, free subsidized tuition is okay as long as it’s responsibly operated, but at a time like this, when you have a demagogue for a leader and sycophants in tow, it becomes a convenient tool for which to soften his image, and that (I begrudge to give him credit or he has eminence grise) it’s perfect timing for to sign several bills into laws so as to counter criticism of his otherwise circus of a government.

      • madlanglupa says:

        BTW, the only thing left for me, short of general public discontent, is infighting among the sycophant hyenas over the carcass.

  2. arlene says:

    I am still dreaming of a brighter and prosperous Philippines. Maybe…five years from now? Good morning Joeam!

  3. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    No. By my every breath and every bone in my body, no. This scenario will not come to pass. Duterte is a fever, not Stage 4 cancer. Early detection gives the patient 80-90% chance of survival.

    • Always good to have people disagree with Sal’s boneheaded calculations. 🙂

      • NHerrera says:

        My barber and Sal have quite a history over bottles and bottles of SanMig and he objects very strongly to the characterization of “boneheaded calculation” made by his friend Sal. Sal walks the streets — the alleys of the slums to the streets around the high-end malls, and in office buildings of all manners of people, including those places TSH members wouldn’t want to be seen in — when he is not in his computer or at his favorite pub. He has a track record of putting 2 and 2 together and coming out with 4. He is a realist and an academician when it comes to his odd-making or probability assignment.

        And you know what? I agree with my barber. (My barber adds: watch Sal change his mind when crucial data comes as he walks the streets. He says to give Sal at least another year for a re-assessment. I am waiting with bated breath.)

        • NHerrera says:

          My barber gives me the tip, allegedly from his friend Sal: the one in the driver’s seat here is not anymore the PH leaders including the top honcho. They have been baited well and good; the driver here are the top guns on top of the country whose Leader plays with his missile and nuke toys. My barber speaks in geopolitical terms I sometimes don’t understand. I have to finish my second cup to think about that, but thought I should relay for what it is worth. 🙂

        • Sal smiled, winked, and started sobbing uncontrollably at the thought that SOMEONE understands!! That took about five minutes, and he went and got another beer.

        • Worried Wanderer says:

          Sal also predicted Mar to be the next President, so he might be optimistic.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      This is a good article, Joe. In insurance selling, the technique is called parking the hearse at the doorstep, or showing the consequences of not acceding to the offer, making the worst-case scenario as real as possible. (Of course, I don’t use it.) This is also a dipstick into the minds of people. Will we fold, or will we resist or mitigate the effects of the political trajectory?

    • It’s good to see PH oligarchs dealing with the future forthrightly. I hope their start-up has much success. Commerce is, I suppose, the great leveler, the area where poor critical thinking is deadly.

  4. Gemino H. Abad says:

    What a grim future for our country! We must act now, whatever we can do now: People Power 3!! Even Death may help us — Du30 is a sick madman! (I beg pardon for the death wish!)

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Free expressions- If bashing and intimidation is not enough then outright banning might be the next move, but so far it has not happened yet. The trolls even say that if free speech is removed then they could not have been commenting anything anti-Duterte. True for now.

  6. edgar lores says:

    Should not the caption say, “This is not your granddaughter’s Philippines”?

  7. chemrock says:

    I do not share Sal’s confidence of the economy.

    In the short term the economy may still ride on the steam provided by the previous admin but it will sputter by end 2018. The signs are all out there. So far the admin has not made any structural changes to make the country more competitive. The leadership is in the snake pit clawing at each other for personal reasons on a daily basis.

    Chinese companies will surely come, but they won’t have it easy. They will be here for the extraction and food business only. For the mining business I think they will bear the brunt of increased NPA violence. For agribusiness, Philippines archaic land laws make impossible capital intensive large scale farming, the kind that the Chinese favour.

    Manufacturers always seek a cheaper base of production. So yes their labour cost in the cities has indeed gone up, but remember there are still billions of Chinese in the provinces where labour is still cheap. Some Chinese manufacturers might come to Philippines for the low labour. Chinese products manufactured in Philippines become ‘made-in-Philippines’ products for which there are implications. As Philippines move politically closer to China, GSPs of Western countries will be withdrawn. It won’t be easy marketing to the rest of the world.

    In economic management, I observe that Philippines’ economic czars have always relied on OFW remittances and government spending as the two key fronts to growth forecast. OFW provides the fundings for a whole mass of the population to spend domestically, and government expenditure provides for employment and salaries to spend in the mall. The OFW remittances the govt cannot control. It is subject to the vagaries of currency volatility and the external economies. (Well there is one way the govt can increase influence — it controls the push factor. Make the country more screwed up, more will leave to find jobs overseas). Govt spending they can control. The lazy way to make GDP figures look good — increase budget allocation, never mind even if it goes into deficits. Build build build, never mind the country goes into debt. For as long as economic planning is heavily influenced by these, the country will never see light of day. This is an expenditure-based thinking towards GDP, instead of production.

    • Thanks for this needed probing of the economic projection. I think the offset is that China recognizes just what a grand coup the Philippines would be in their march outward, and they’d be willing to underwrite assured success for their soft annexation. It was recently reported that China is considering allowing the importation of domestic helpers. I suspect that is specifically being done to favor the Philippines.

    • Miela says:

      Nice insights chem,

      If things gets politically and economically bad, do you foresee a Venezuela-like situation for the Philippines?

      • chemrock says:

        The banana republic awaits any country that does’nt correct its economy when it goes into a free fall. Many countries reached the brink, peered over it, and got their senses back, making lots of sacrifices to do things right, including stringing corrupt leaders in the gallows. I see lots of Filipinos still do not believe there is a brink, unwilling to make sacrifices (by which I mean accepting salvation by delayed gratification (the economic pill offered by Pnoy), and a blind acceptance of a leadership that is offering nothing of economic sense at the moment.

        The economic plight of the Philippines will be reflected in 3 key metrics — the exchange rate, the current accounts balance, and the central bank foreign reserves. One year under Dut, all 3 metrics are headed in the wrong direction. An erratic leadership with flip-flopping policies, no clear economic direction, and horrible human rights reputation is sending all the wrong signals that can only result in emplifying the trade imbalance. The damage will be felt in the weakening exchange rate. Part 1 of the tax reform and a weakened exchange rate is going to rouse the sleeping killer – inflation, which has been well managed under Tetangco in the past decade. In order to control inflation and protect the peso, the central bank has two options — increase interest rates or intervene in the currency market. Increasing interest rates will dampen the economy, so in the short term, it will most likely intervene in forex market. To intervene in the forex market it tends to loose heavily in it’s foreign exchange reserves. In just one year, this admin has lost almost 6% of its forex reserves. It is raiding the reserves each time the president curses at somebody.

        The admin has said the total infra is $9 trillion but it will be funded 80% domestically and 20% foreign loans. That means $1.8 trillion foreign loans. Pnoy handed over an external loan of $74.5 billion so this admin will increase it to $2.55 Trillion, a whopping increase of 241%. Question is can the Philippines economy sustain this level of external debt? The economic planners want to follow all the countries in the world that has gone on a credit spree taking advantage of a zero percent interest regime for the last decade or more. I think they may have missed the low interest boat. All indications are, interest rates are moving up again. The repercussions on a $2.55 Trillion external debt is horrendous. Every increase by 1% increases debt servicing by $25.5 billion. Consider this — Philippines budget in 2017 was 3.35 trillion pesos, @ 50 = $ 67 billion. Just 1% increase in interest will suck up 17% of the entire budget. Is that sustainable? One think is for sure. Debt servicing will severely strain the peso exchange rate and central bank reserves in the years to come.

        I can’t say if it will be a Venezuela scenario, but the economic trajectory of Philippines is not comforting for sure.

        Velenzuela’s problem was due to Chavez overselling on his socialist policies. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of socialism is always required. When a society prospers, it must always have a safety net for those left behind. But when the objective of socialist policies was to bolster political populism and to remain in power, it is grave mis-use of the state coffer. All the wealth from oil was mis-used. Duterte has’nt got to that destructive level yet. But that is because he has’nt got so much state funds. Let’s assume the joint venture projects take off and money flows in, that’s when the test will be on Dut. Will he go the same socialist way to remain in power. So far he has shown a willingness to take the soft option of socialist policies to diffuse political tensions re — the SSS increased payout, Kadamay occupation of govt housing. Police and AFP doubling of salaries still to be realised.

        Because he thought he had oil, Chavez went on a borrowing spree for infras and socialist objectives. His demise came about when the price of oil plummeted, the rug was pulled from under his feet. So that begs the question. Why do the economic planners of the Dut admin make such audacious plans – a $2.55 trillion external debt? Was there a knowledge that Philippines state coffers will flow from the richness of the West Philippines Seas vis-a-vis joint venture with China? Are we to buy into the conspiracy theory of Arroyo-China involvement long before the election? That what’s happening is a fait accompli?

        Under Chavez, Venezuela took on so much Chinese debt. When they could not repay, they were forced to buy Chinese products . . in exchange for the oil. They ended up having so much Chinese refrigerators that the govt sold them off at huge discounts that came to be known as the ‘Chavez discount’. Today, every Venezuelian owns a Chinese refridgerator, but there’s no food inside. I don’t know if we will have a Dut’s discount scheme any time soon.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks, chemrock. Even a non-economist like me understands that. The post complements the current blog very nicely.

          • NHerrera says:

            I read that NEDA’s Pernia has the following vetting or filter mechanism on the Chinese companies to undertake the infras here: Ask the Chinese Authorities to give a list of three companies which passes its (Chinese) filter; then Pernia et all will vet the three and choose one. Methinks that seems sound if we can trust China 100% the way we trusted China on its behavior regarding our Scarborough Shoal. (Last line — tongue in cheek.)

            • Pernia’s comment totally lacked enthusiasm, almost as if he were resigned to following orders. “It is the best we can do”, he said.

              I gained respect for NEDA under President Aquino because they were data oriented, and candid in their interpretation. When the Admin fell behind its poverty reduction targets, this was noted, and effort was redoubled. I noticed that this NEDA group does tend to play politics more and it is worrying.

        • Chemrock, could you tap a few keys and make this comment a blog? Don’t add anything. Or at least let me post the comment to my Facebook page. It is a most provocative and informative read.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Chemrock, you are spot on ! To me It has the smell of Argentina in 2000-2001. Similar strategy and similar results.

          But you did not mention that as the ‘course’ becomes obvious, anyone with money will try to get it out of the Philippines into foreign bank accounts or change pesos into cash dollars ‘under the bed’. And that of course quickens the process as it is self reinforcing

          • chemrock says:

            Yes Bill, you are absolutely right. The moneyed class understands the situation very well and they know when to run. Capital flight starts with a trickle, initially with hot money, that is foreign investors in the equities market, and then into an uncontrollable mad rush through the revolving door. Most of the hot money has already left the PSEI within one year of Dut. Of course Abella will interpret it as due to external factor — FED increase of interest rate. That certainly played a role but it is definitely accentuated by the chaos of in the country. Financial panic is contagious and the only way to stop it is state intervention of capital controls. The very fear of capital control itself feeds the velocity of capital flight.

            I bet for sure amongst the moneyed class, contingency plans have already been made. They do not get to where they are without such foresights on monetary matters.

          • Miela says:

            Capital flight like in Venezuela except that Chavez imposed a quota that hurt production and supplynof non-oil commodities.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              I thought you would agree Chemrock. I see it already as a year ago I could only get 34-35 pesos for a dollar. But a week ago we sent some pesos to family and the A $ bought 39 pesos. That is a depreciation of 16% in a year. I imagine something similar has happened via a vis the US dollar.

              A year ago I was wondering whether to invest some of my retirement in Filipino government bonds which were offering an attractive rate (6% ) compared to here ( 2.5%) . I didn’t. And now I am glad I did not..

              • Bill In Oz says:

                By the way Chemrock, Argentina in 2000-2001 was definitely very bad for all the less wealthy locals. Massive unemployment and a very devalued Argentine peso.
                Politically it was also very bad : three presidents in a matter of months due to the mass revolt against the establishment.

              • chemrock says:

                Bill, glad you brought this up.
                For the past few years the low yen interest rates (still hovering around zero) and the high A$ rates (has gone down to 2.5% you mentioned) was a fantastic money making opportunity for those with good appetite for the risk. The JPY/AUD pair saw a fantastic volume of FX swaps — borrowing in yen, convert to A$, and investing in A$ time deposits. Now the yen is still very low and peso is about 6%, a great FX swap opportunity exists, now why are’nt people interest in JPY/PHP fx swaps? The answer is no confidence. The credit ratings may still be there, World Bank and some other banks may still have a relatively good outlook for Philippines over the next year, the admin may talk of golden age of infras… but the market is’nt biting.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Chemrock, our Reserve Bank was utterly stupid & incompetent back then in 20012-2015 with those high interest rates. The board was stacked with “finance friendly” idiots. They should have been sacked the whole lot of them. In fact shooting them would have been worthwhile.

                It lead to a massively over valued A $ and cheap foreign holidays for the well off. It also caused massive job ‘exporting’ as it was so cheap to import everything.

              • chemrock says:

                Monetary tools is like the whac-a-mole arcade game. You wack one, something else turns up. Sometimes, completely under-estimated, sometimes the intended objective is achieved.

              • A Pixar short, titled “Lifted”, would be a better analogy IMHO, chemp…

        • Miela says:

          Thanks for the insights and I agree, how the debt is headed isn’t too comforting. It may come to the point that OFW money won’t keep the economy afloat.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Now that is interesting Miela. It could go either way. Three things will come to play.
            1 If the pesos drops a lot then OFW wages in dollars or other foreign money will become more valuable. So buying property in the Philippines will be less expensive.

            2 On the other hand OFW’s will probably also choose to keep more of their savings overseas in case things go bad with the peso.. And that means the flow dries up.

            3 But in the midst of this is the simple fact that many OFW’s are supporting family at home and so locked into sending money to them. But I think many will in future bring cash dollars with them when coming home, rather than transfering pesos via Western Union etc.

            What actually happens in the macro level will be a result of each OFW’ making their own financial decisions.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Make the country more screwed up so that people will leave and find work abroad, thus more remittances. More money to spend for consuming of the dependents with no age limits.
      Some use the remittance money wisely, so e don’t.
      I doubt it reaches the treasury because VAT collctions always has shortfalls due to exemptions.
      The spenders are the senior citizens most of their expenses like food,pharmaceuticals are vat exempt.
      The other bulk of the remittances go the underground economy, again underground means no tax payments.

      The other money maker is the BPO, AI is a major threat.
      Brazil and Argentina may not speak english, but Spanish and Portuguese speaking Americans and Europeans are their market.
      Mexico has deportees who ate well versed in American English.

      For agribusinesswe tried to lease ten percent of our agri land to the Chineses, nothing happened. We also offered land to the Arabs, presumably for agribusiness as well.

      Speaking of agribusiness, that is what we offer to the Russians.

      This sector must be our way to success, if we play our cards right, otherwise we keep on exporting our human capital, speaking of which, how do you get the young people get interested in agri business.
      Right now we are still still with the trader and the middleman making the poor farmer even poorer.That must change.

      • “…speaking of which, how do you get the young people get interested in agri business.”

        We need to change the societal perception of farming and farmers. The song “Magtanim ay di biro” is a whiny song about how hard and miserable it is plant a field. Kids are told to “Go home and plant camote” to ridicule them if they are not doing well in school. As a society, we look down our noses at farming and farmers.

        I remember telling my niece that we bought some land and we were planning to be hobby farmers. She asked if we fell on hard times, if we were poor that we have to do farming to get by. It did not hit me till then that a lot of Filipinos were raised in an environment that is often disrespectful to those who steward the land and produce food for others.

        It is absurd to think that farmers are at the bottom of the totem pole anywhere in the world. We need to tell young Filipinos that the world’s perception of farmers has evolved. For example, there is a strong “Back to the Land” movement in the US. Americans want to be good land stewards, eat organic and fresh produce, raise hormone and antibiotic free livestocks, lessen their carbon footprints, breathe fresh country air, chuck the chichi gym membership and much more. The new American farmers are festooned with graduate and post graduate degrees. They have done well in the corporate world and view farming as a “do good and feel good” undertaking. There is nothing lowly about farming. It is all about the communion with nature, taking care of Mother Earth and providing wholesome and healthy food to one’s family and community.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thanks so much Juana for sharing your experience, knowledge and perception about farming.

          • sonny says:

            Likewise, JP. My late father-in-law’s vertical order of priorities: God-Country-Family. His profession: Soldier-Farmer. He was one of the pioneer Advanced graduates of UP-ROTC, Los Banos. He was hunted then executed for ambushing a 2-armor convoy of Japanese top-brass.

  8. Parking the hearse, as Will said. Or The Ghost of Christmas Future.

    Unfortunately, the country may react like a stranded Filipina who a helpful diplomat threw out in exasperation.

    Told she might end up in prostitution if she continued that way. She looked as if she were being offered a great opportunity..

    • People who laugh about two Ds masturbating may well be that stupid..

      I am still curious: did they do it each for himself or did they take turns helping each other? Just evaluating their teamwork..

    • NHerrera says:


      It depends on the base: if death is one that she valued the least, that offer was certainly better.

      Woe unto the country that thinks this way.

    • chemrock says:

      Abella may explain it this way –
      Well you know the president is a lawyer so he is acquainted with the word you use. Masturbation is self-gratifying. To gratify yourself, of course you need to do it yourself. But of course the president being the president, he has great wisdom. Why not kill two birds with one stone. Satisfy yourself and satisfy someone else at the same time. That’s creative thinking and multi-tasking. Now you know why the president gets very tired and need time off occasionally. As to the technique for obtaining or giving satisfaction, in other words, who does what, he did’nt address that. I’m not saying they did’nt undress, don’t mis-interpret me. But as you know, in Philippines, the poor suck up to the rich, and we know one of the D came from a very rich family. Again, don’t mis-quote me.

      • “Satisfy yourself and satisfy someone else at the same time. “

        chemp, in the military we call this a Circle Jerk. But I think , what you and Ireneo are getting is the Human Centipede, only gratifying for the first guy, or gal. LOL!

    • I sit month after month with great dismay seeing that there is no organized objection to the direction of the nation. There are strong and courageous individual voices like those of Senator Hontiveros, but no organization. So I hear Will speaking from the heart, but don’t see any brains (or conviction) behind the hope.

  9. Miela says:

    A federal system in the Philippines might just end the existence of the republic. Imagine Ilocos where there are strong Marcos support — if the federal government will start to do its job properly by taking back what the Marcoses have stolen, the Marcoses and its allies, if they win a lot of seats, can pull something like what the Confederation did, the justification of “state rights” and the denial of “intrusion on state affairs” by the federal government. Then there’s the Cordilleras are and is still being pushed over by non-Cordillerans can get fed up and go all-out for secession. After all, they didn’t ask to join the republic. Aguinaldo just assumed they were “integral” part of Philippine territory. Many of the original inhabitants of Baguio lost their land because of the intrusion and lack of consideration for native land practices by the national government. Then, there’s the Moro issue, and the Lumads who still fight the Visayan and Luzon settlers who have displaced them.

    Filipinos do not vote for who is competent or who even has the best platform — they vote either by who is most popular or by ethnicity. Marcos won Ilocos because he is Ilocano. Binay won Cagayan Valley because he is from the region. Duterte won in Vis-Min because he is of Cebuano ethnicity and resided in Mindanao for a long time. Grace Poe won Pangasinan becayse FPJ is originally from Pangasinan.

    • Miela says:

      If I may ad, I remember at the height of the anti-Arroyo protests, Duterte and some Visayan officials “threatened” to secede in Arroyo was ousted from office. Secession is not far-fetched esp if the dynastic and alliances are disturbed.

    • Yes, I think a dividing of the Philippines geographically is a real possibility, with the South aligned with Muslim Malaysia, the North to China, and the Visayas to Bill Gates heh heh. (I don’t know where the Visayas would go.)

    • sonny says:

      These configurations seem to suggest the paradigms set by the Meiji Restoration and/or the Barons, King John and the Magna Carta looking better n better, Miela. At least the territorial confines of PH (and more) were already drawn by the first two colonizers (Spain, America). Now it’s the turn of PH, the third colonizer. No other to blame. Else over the cliff we go.

    • chemrock says:

      In the recent spat between Cong Farinas and Imee the Illocos Norte Board declared Farinas persona non gratia. Under what basis and authority I don’t know. In a federalism, there will be thousands of issuance of persona non gratias. In fact, I think the drug war will be superseded by a persona non gratia war. Mark my word, I said it first.

  10. Bill In Oz says:

    There is one aspect you have not included in this picture Joe : BPO…. Is this sector still increasing in numbers and in income earned ? Last time I looked it was.

    The interesting thing about the BPO is that it connects a substantial part of the resident working population directly with other more prosperous countries and does so directly with ordinary people in those countries and via thir language – English.

    In other words BPO sector is a major income earner and a direct connector into the minds, attitudes and culture of English speaking countries… China’s Communist Party dictatorship in part ‘works’ because Chinese, while it is spoken by many people, is not an international language spoken in many countries.. Thus the Chinese people in China can be dominated ‘informationally’ and intellectually by the PRC government and it’s minions.

    I do not think that will happen in the Philippines. The English speaking ( & English understanding ) parts of the population are too big as percentages of the population.

    So isolation will not happen.

    And dominance long term cannot be achieved.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Just nerds. forecasting how great more nerdising will be Karl.

        When we have a phone issue we want to talk to humans..But the nerds always thing their computers will be better. Well I say “Fuck them ! “

        • karl,

          I’ve always said that the BPO industry in general (with or w/out Trump; with or w/out other 3rd world competition, ie. AI) is expendable.

          I hope this downturn in Cebu isn’t because of BPO companies leaving but because BPO kids in Cebu smartened up early on and started pealing off BPO companies either to run their own outfits and/or take the enterpreneurial call (or work for smaller companies locally owned), ie. starting their own businesses, that’s what tends to happen in Silicon Valley, talented folks leave bigger companies to start or join smaller companies in a new niche.

          If this isn’t what happened probably best to get it started regardless.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Hey Lance, there was no “downturn’. Employment is increasing. But the company that issues and the press release, changed how it scored the top 10 cities. It included other new factors..

            It’s there if you read the link from Karl. And what’s interesting is that the other countries that have moved up the ratings into the top 10 list – In Brazil & Argentina, don’t speak English.

            Duhhhhhhh ????

            Jus mre “Lies, damned lies and Statistics” !

            • Ahhh… thanks, I read the link title, and thought down turn (these Filipino links don’t open for me too well). This sounds like a conspiracy, so who then is fixing the numbers or adjusting factors? Or is English as a factor before not really so important any longer? ie. more IT type BPO? so, still maybe a sign of things to come?

              • Bill In Oz says:

                All I know is that 10 weeks in BA’s demonstrated to me that English is NOT spoken there by many people….Brazil I do not know…. But both places are in major depressions economically. So maybe the company doing the ratings, is doing these countries a ‘favor’.

                BPO as an industry is dependent on good knowledge of English and it’s subtlties…The Philippines is leap years ahead in this..

            • NHerrera says:

              Argentina = Spanglish
              Brazil = Portuglish

              In the Philippines we have Taglish, but some Filipino BPO’s conversational English can give Bill and Joe a run for their money, complete with accent.

    • Bill: the English speaking population is large. Those who really understand English – fewer. Adjusting to the next set of masters not harder than adjusting to Saudi, Dubai, HK – you just tell them what they want to hear, like with USA.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Irineio I had some weird experiences last year with this.. Talking with my lady about an issue in English with other Filipinos listening and not speaking English at all., just Tagalog..But understanding my English very adaquately…It was embarressing for me a couple for times.

        And the Saudis etc… all use English for their OFW’s

    • chemrock says:

      Bill, if and when Philippines is ‘colonised’ by PRC as this blog suggests, won’t it be a logical proposition that the govt of the day will veered the educational curriculum towards a Chinese-based one? It’s not too far-fetch I think.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Ummmmm… That may be attempted Chemrock..But that is what the Afrikaner government of South Africa did in the 197’s with it’s education policies for blacks. It tried to replace English with Afrikaans in schools..For the same reasons

        Result ? Major revolts in the schools and universities. It fueled the ANC. And the ANC won.

        Meanwhile there is the Filipino ‘dispora’ (NOT the OFW’s ) in mostly English speaking countries all around the world – the USA, Canada, UK ,Australia, Singapore, New Zealand.

        A dispora with money and families still in the Philippines.

  11. chemrock says:

    Sorry, off topic but a good reminder.
    This is democracy and British parliamentary system for you.
    In the wild wild west of Pakistan, even a dictator can be subdued by the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff has been disqualified by the Supreme Court for his involvement in the Panama Papers. Take the Ejercito, et tu Imee.


    • Bill In Oz says:

      Exactly Chemrock !

      • popoy says:

        Chemrock and Bill. Have you read my comment in the previous piece/thread about the Philippine Legal Olympus? To be clueless or to appear to be one precludes not knowing one is trying to make history.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Popoy I long ago came to the conclusion that the Philippines is not a country with a legal system. Rather it is a country with elected mayors, governors and an elected Emperor. as in ancient Rome. .And the Emperor is boss until he is not the boss. I guess being elected is an improvement on becoming emperor by killing the last one or fighting and winning against other ‘candidates’ in a civil war. But that’s what Dutters is : ‘God Emperor of The Philippines”. With Apologies to Frank Herbert who wrote the wonderful Science fiction books about Dune

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Maybe that is why he and Yi Xing Peng “God Emperor of China, get on so well.

          • popoy says:

            It is. IT IS Bill a country with a legal system. You could have a contempt of court problem with any Court of (In)Justice if you insist and not prove it. With a few alleged US soldiers felony, the US State Department and the US Military has to reckon with its sticky system.

        • chemrock says:

          Yes Popoy, today’s Zeus sits on a slippery slope.

  12. methersgate says:

    Almost certainly correct.

    Some friends think that the USA or even Japan will intervene to save the Philippines; I tell them that the USA under Trump is dysfunctional and could not organise any overseas intervention, covert or overt, and Japan is barred by the Constitution.

    The detail that you were too tasteful to mention is the mass export of Filipinas as prostitutes to China to “service” the sex ratio imbalance in the Chinese population. This will contribute notably to OFW remittances.

  13. josephivo says:

    20 years from now… The 2 economic pillars of the Philippines will be gone. The BPO will be overtaken by AI. The OFW’s by self-sailing ships, cleaning robots, elderly helping elderly with the help of robots… Farming jobs no more sexy for the current and coming generations, farming will be taken over by largely automated bio-industry consortiums.

    The inequality will be enormous. (By the way the eldest daughter of our gardener, 16 years old, is expecting her second child.) Even the current growth will not offset the population explosion in the lowest income class. The rich will export their wealth even faster than today. The competition in the middle class for the remaining jobs will have a negative effect on their salaries. NPA and ISIS affiliates getting stronger as a result of this inequality?

    China only interested in the strategic value of the Philippines. More Chinese military bases with more “job” opportunities for the 16 to 25 year old female population around those bases?

    And tomorrow the sun might shine again and then I will have to rewrite this contribution….

  14. edgar lores says:

    1. There are specific projections in certain specific areas – government structure, economy, employment, freedom, immigration, AI, language, and so on. All well and good.

    2. I would like to add two areas: demography and culture.

    3. Demographically speaking, I think the country will continue to be burdened by the high ratio of the poor. Currently, the D and E classes comprise 90% of families. If this ratio is maintained and not curbed, the weight of the poor will continue to drag down the country, not only economically but socially as well. The masa will continue to decide elections and the dynastic demagogues will still rule.

    4. If the demography is hard to change, even harder still is the culture. We have assigned so many names to our damaged culture. I shall lump all of these together and call it the Me-First Culture, wherein amoral familism and clannism predominate.

    5. So my prediction is that in 15 – 20 years’ time we may have a bubbling economy, greater and newer infrastructure, but it will be more of the same political, social, and moral chaos that we have now. As it was before, as it is now, so it will be in the near future.

    5.1. The combined terms of the corrupt Marcos, Estrada, Arroyo, and Duterte will span a total of 39 years (by 2022). Compared to the relatively incorrupt 18 years of Cory, Ramos, and PNoy, the ratio of the years is 2:1. Given the demography and the culture. It is highly likely that we will have a redux of corrupt authoritarian regimes.

    6. A grim future can be avoided. A pragmatic leader like Lee Kuan Yew may come along… or a group of foresighted leaders that can engineer something close to the Meiji Restoration.

    • Point 3 is actually factored in to the prognosis, but not specified. It is the labor base for China and servant base for the world and pliable base for manipulation by the strongman. Same with point 4, the lack of impetus to change. Which is why what currently exists can be projected forward. I mean, if the current goings on are acceptable to the masses, there is no opposing force, really.

      Point 5, agree. And 6, although I tend to think a pragmatic leader with the kind of showmanship needed for popular acclaim is unlikely to appear. He or she also has to be willing to lead what would be termed a ‘rebellion’, and that is not healthy.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      Edgar, you forget that Japan had it stuff ups on the way to it’s present prosperity – including World War 2. And even the foresighted leaders of the meiji restoration had to fight a civil war with the old timers…

      And Lee Kuan Yew was ruthless in putting down those who attempted to damage his modernising revolution in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s.

    • NHerrera says:

      In one of those moments of extreme defeatism, I wrote earlier in TSH something that I wish to repeat here because it seems appropriate:

      The culture or Filipino character is such that we are trapped and consequently have evolved into the current state, and that we are in a scheduled trajectory of more such evolution into perdition (with the caveat, of course, that there are those who will greatly profit materially from the situation at the expense of the many, including of course the kingdom from the North.)

      Is the evolution still REVERSIBLE? (I know we have enumerated the means in many previous blogs, but we may be fast losing the confidence that the means is workable.)

      There is a mathematical analog to the situation. There are some problems where the “boundary conditions” — cultural or character flaw in this case — are such that no solution is possible. I hope we are not in such situation, notwithstanding my defeatist attitude.

      • Actually, this article was written because I have lost confidence because people don’t even recognize there is a huge and threatening problem, so how will they ever find a solution amidst all the bs thrown at them? Thanks for the term ‘boundary conditions’ to define the walls of the trap.

        • sonny says:

          Calling the PH’s state of affairs as Captain Kirk’s dilemma always begs for his solution: define the horns? Absolutely; but ALWAYS look for the excluded third.

      • edgar lores says:

        I believe human boundary conditions, unlike mathematical ones, can be changed. Culture is malleable.

        In the case of Singapore, LKY was able to transform society by convincing people to merge their base ethnic identities – Malay, Chinese, and Indian — into a greater Singaporean identity. He attended to the main pillars of society — security, economy, and resources — but also raised the civic consciousness of the people.

        Basically, he reconditioned the people’s mindset through different methods including carrot-and-stick techniques. Consider his language policy. Consider his policy of population control through sterilization, education prioritization, and economic rebates. Consider his judicial corporal punishment through caning. Consider his famous chewing gum campaign.

        In the case of Japan, reconditioning was not necessary, only redirection. The Japanese were already an obedient, loyal, and honorable people, a product of the feudal and caste system, of internal strife, and of the Bushido Code. It was, therefore, a matter of redirecting their loyalties away from the local daimyos and the shogun toward the Emperor.

        As Bill has rightly pointed out, the excesses of the redirection and of the nationalistic fervor resulted in the expansionist aggressive wars against China and the Allied Powers in WWII.

        In the movie “The Little House (2014)” — directed by Yoji Yamada, the same director of “The Hidden Blade (2004)” — there are scenes that capture the campaigns to raise the nationalistic fervor. One of the campaigns was to ask the citizens to self-sacrifice by donating jewelry and scrap metal.

        In Korea in the late 1990’s, there was a similar request by the government for the citizens to donate their gold jewelry to help the country out of its economic crisis. There was an overwhelming response.

        These campaigns for donations, for cleanliness, for economic discipline are instrumental in lifting civic consciousness. Marcos stole a leaf from LKY’s book by initiating some of these campaigns. Stole. In the end, Marcos’s internal corruption surfaced as lupus and doomed his attempts.

        Duterte has his anti-smoking law but, like Marcos, he does not possess personal integrity. His uncouthness pervades and permeates, and the youth of today will carry his stink 15 – 20 years from now.

  15. NHerrera says:

    My “pangpalubag loob” or “consuelo de bobo” — the latter, transliterated: consolation to an idiot — to what is happening in the PH is to read or watch CNN news about Trump making his non-ending rant and boy am I relieved. Temporarily of course, because I know that in the end, going by some probability assessment, the institution there will most likely put a check on Trump somehow, and not let all go to the dogs. What a pity though, that even in the US things go South before something corrective happens.

  16. popoy says:

    As an old man I accept sometimes I behave to know it all,
    with little knowledge like I want
    to appear to be a complete sage

    but I err on the side of exaggerated PRAISE
    I hate me self to make mistake
    On criticisms many busy body seems to make
    So for JoeAm in this his above piece
    I post the poem below not really remembering
    Reading it in Grade Four in 1948
    What its message is. I care not what the heck
    If some thinks it is an exaggerated praise.

    The Man with a Hoe
    by Edwin Markham

    Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
    Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
    The emptiness of ages in his face,
    And on his back, the burden of the world.
    Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
    A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
    Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
    Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
    Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
    Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?

    Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
    To have dominion over sea and land;
    To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
    To feel the passion of Eternity?
    Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
    And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
    Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
    There is no shape more terrible than this–
    More tongued with cries against the world’s blind greed–
    More filled with signs and portents for the soul–
    More packed with danger to the universe.

    What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
    Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
    Are Plato and the swing of the Pleiades?
    What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
    The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
    Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
    Time’s tragedy is in that aching stoop;
    Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
    Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
    Cries protest to the Powers that made the world,
    A protest that is also prophecy.

    O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
    Is this the handiwork you give to God,
    This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
    How will you ever straighten up this shape;
    Touch it again with immortality;
    Give back the upward looking and the light;
    Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
    Make right the immemorial infamies,
    Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

    O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
    How will the future reckon with this Man?
    How answer his brute question in that hour
    When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
    How will it be with kingdoms and with kings–
    With those who shaped him to the thing he is–
    When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
    After the silence of the centuries?

  17. karlgarcia says:

    We must study the transport system of Toronto.
    They are debating which is better BRT or LRT.
    In Cebu, there is a power struggle going on between the Mayor and the one assigned to Visayas by the president, concerning BRT vs LRT.
    In EDSA, many are against BRT.


  18. josephivo says:

    20 years from now… So you belief that the antichrist remains on his island in the red sea and Gog and Magog will stay locked up behind their iron curtain somewhere hidden in Asia? That’s not what ISIS teaches.

    In this hyper-communicative world where facts and reason are getting irrelevant, new beliefs can propagate very fast. And religious eschatological views are sexy, scary and an easy sell. Marawi might just be a beginning. No link to economic situation, historic suppression, federalism or whatever reasonable reason, but plain and simple distorted religious beliefs.

    The end time for our generation. A belief shared by many (extreme?) evangelicals and muslims, the signs as predicted in the Bible and Koran are there…

    • There are certainly other futures. In my projection, I presume that federalism will establish a moderate barrier to ISIS fanaticism as we see with the MNLF being incorporated as an arm of the Duterte drug war and war against terrorism. Will there be conflicts? Have there ever not been? If the end is coming, my guess it is more likely in the form of natural disasters or a nuclear storm, not ISIS brigands and other extremists. But I’m placing no money behind my projections.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Oh my, Duterte thinks this is just a game of chicken.
      He does not want to go to war with China, yet he is brave enough to irritate North Korea.

  19. jamesb says:

    The future is already largely determined by the level of intellect (IQ), type of character (myers-briggs), and degree of openness (big 5) of the current generation.

    They combine to give a broad estimate of the future value of the human/intellectual capital.

    Comparisons between different countries of IQ bell curve/median, myers-briggs distribution of personality types, and a correlation with socio-economic well-being adds a perspective to other traditional inputs.

    In terms of the US election myers-briggs plus ‘the big 5″, was used as the basis of profiling by cambridge analytica which surveyed more than 150,000 households across the US – a company which steve bannon invested heavily in, and sat on the board. This then formed the basis of their targetted campaign carried out by ??.

    I would expect trump’s hardcore support came from the SJ group, especially ESFJ and ISFJ.
    Respects authority, likes unity/collectivity, traditional/resistant to change, seeks order, people pleasers, distrust outsiders, not open to new ideas, needy, wants purpose and to belong.

    Protectors (SJ)
    ESTJ – Overseer, supervisor = 11.8%
    ESFJ – Supporter, provider = 11.7%
    ISTJ – Examiner, inspector = 9.8%
    ISFJ – Defender, protector = 9.9%
    All SJs = 43.2%

    Creators (SP)
    ESTP – Persuader, promoter = 8.4%
    ESFP – Entertainer, performer = 10.3%
    ISTP – Craftsman, mechanic = 6.4%
    ISFP – Artist, composer = 7.9%
    All SPs = 33%

    If you think of countries in terms of myers briggs the philippines would likely be too heavily scewed towards ESFJ, and therefore screwed. a servant nation, or a nation of servants.

    • Ah, excellent way to characterize nations. I have a personality conflict with the Philippines.

      • jamesb says:

        My 7 stages of ‘man’/ national evolution:
        Self preservation
        Self interest
        Self awareness (self critical)
        Self motivation
        Self respect
        Self achievement
        Self reflection

        The philippines still hasn’t reached ‘self awareness’, and worse is being run by a clique/minority of ‘mr hydes’, who are on the flip side of the coin, and therefore act as a barrier to development for the majority:
        Self entitlement
        Self agrandissment
        Self promotion
        Self love
        Self doubt
        Self loathing
        Self destruction

        Development is a constant process of ‘push-pull’.

        I will put ‘Juan dela cruz’ through a battery of tests and look at the ‘national psyche’!
        Needs – maslow
        Values – schwartz
        Personality – myers-briggs, 16pf
        Intellect – IQ, SAT/GMAT, PISA
        Character – big 5, saville & holdsworth
        Culture – hofstede, lewis
        Unconscious bias – harvard IAT
        Group roles – belbin
        Behaviours – kiersey

        When the inputs (people) are damaged, and the processes flawed ( politics/culture/institutions), then the outputs (socio-economic progress) will inevitably be limited.

        The quality of early education and parenting is key. (IQ levels only increase by approx 3 points every 10 years, and that is in the US, with quality education)

        As an example, the impact of absent mothers (OFW’s) is known to limit intellectual development and social skills, so children of ofw’s are in a trap from the outset, with only one way out – become an ofw, and perpetuate the vicious cycle!

        On a dashboard of key performance indicators the philippines ranks 80th in the world – vastly underperforming relative to size etc. 3rd/4th division, and with no star players/strikers to put the ball in the net, and certainly no team coach.

        The headline economy will inevitably grow, as population itself grows, but to improve its relative/competitive standing and achieve equitable prosperity it needs more transformational leadership and creative strategies, instead of slogans, dreams, ‘jam tomorrow’, and all eggs in china’s basket, or the 2 tier social structure will be cast in cement, which the chinese will no doubt supply!

        The fundamentals are an inquiring mind, an open/inclusive culture, equal opportunity, individuality & creativity.
        The road being taken seems to be exactly the opposite – authoritarianism, nationalism, protectionism, isolationism, collectivity, subservience. anger and anti-(everything).


        • “As an example, the impact of absent mothers (OFW’s) is known to limit intellectual development and social skills, so children of ofw’s are in a trap from the outset, with only one way out – become an ofw, and perpetuate the vicious cycle!”

          Wow. I wonder how to mainstream that info. Sen. Hontiveros ought to be advised.

          • popoy says:

            “As an example, the impact of absent mothers (OFW’s) is known to limit intellectual development and social skills, so children of ofw’s are in a trap from the outset, with only one way out – become an ofw, and perpetuate the vicious cycle!”

            This is the other view:

            kami po ay hamak
            sa talikuran nililibak
            bayani daw
            sabi ng mga halimaw
            habang yaman
            ng bayan ninanakaw
            sunong sunong napakabigat
            para lamang taonang GNP
            nanatiling naka angat.

            sa Ingles naman . . .

            we as ofws
            to be water lily
            floating leaving
            polluted rivers
            to qualify to brave
            deeper cleaner oceans
            we leave too children
            under care
            of kins and parents
            whose wisdom and love
            well springs of our ammo to care
            for the young and dying
            to work shoulder to shoulder
            with those who work
            by their sweat and blood
            ofws listen not
            nor believe nay sayers
            bad things do happen
            because of the mothers
            amongst us
            as we lowly influence
            may be humbly
            perpetuate goodness
            in a bad bad world.

            • Thanks for the heart, to balance out jamesb’s science. I think it is possible for kids to succeed in any environment if they are fortunate enough to have adults who will point them in the right direction now and then. Fathers and mothers are best, but eating is more important than that. I hold no judgment either way on OFW’s.

              This was brought to my attention today, and seems to relate:

            • popoy says:

              I just sent this to BALITA Toronto as part of a piece which might see print:

              “I just read in a blog comment about OFW mothers leaving their children behind to the care of others or to fend for themselves. I somehow disagreed and thought there’s a positive side to the issue.

              Being a talkative old man I see and recognize more the Pinays than the Pinoy OFWs in Ontario. Most of them in two or threes ride buses to take the kids to the Malls or libraries and I tell them: “The kids look good and very pretty. Take care of them, Love them and when they grow up they will like the Philippines. You are our Ambassadors of goodwill to future generations of Canadians.”

              The young baby sitters were laughing saying how the kids love adobo and pancit they cooked for them while the older ones who looked like mothers just smile with hidden sadness in their eyes as they perhaps remember their own they left behind at home. And so I wrote something in appreciation of what the good they do for their families and their country.”

              I failed to say that OFW mothers and young baby-sitters were raised by good parents from whom they learned their skills for compassion and to whom they are leaving their children. Yeah some kids do fell into the cracks but those are the exceptions.

  20. NHerrera says:


    It used to be that Vietnam and Philippines were one on being tough with Beijing. Now Vietnam finds itself in its lonesome crying in the wilderness. But though succumbing somewhat to realpolitik, it may be relatively unbowed. It seems it is in the country’s genes. One tough cookie that country.

    We are talking here of “A vision of the Philippine future.” It is interesting to contemplate the future of a country such as Vietnam.


    • NHerrera says:

      From the guy in blue to the guy in gray — … uhm, tell that to the marines.

    • Viet Nam is truly independent and for sure has a sense of sovereign identity and rights. Trust me. I know that first hand (1968-69).

    • popoy says:

      In Dien Bien Phu, in Hanoi , in Hue, Cam Ranh Bay, Danang and Saigon two world powers were brought down to their knees by this country of short and thin men with balls of steel and will do it alone without their ballsless brothers in Asia’s paper tiger.

  21. karlgarcia says:

    I just learned that Senator Trillanes reads the blog.
    He told me he read my comments and that got my dad worried, he just said its ok. I was relieved, I thought I said something wrong or something.

    Something to share that are not that sensitive
    Ok as expected, he thinks that he is not really having a quarrel with Joma Sison.

    The cabinet is filled with the left, many Usecs and Asecs are with the left, and both left and the military in cabinet are not comfy with each other.

    I heard something else that I will keep to my self regarding a Comelec chair.

    • Well, how interesting, and I consider it an honor that the Senator reads now and then. I know I’ve said good and bad, and like water, it is under the bridge. Lately, it has been good, so consider me enlightened and him a rock of consistency. 🙂

      I tend to think the military in the cabinet is more important than the leftists and if push comes to shove, the military people will not be pushed out.

      • karlgarcia says:

        As a clarfication, I meant that Duterte is not really having a quarrel with Joma Sison.

        Yes, I think the military in the cabinet are more importsnt than the left.

      • popoy says:

        Two captains were brothers in arms and in their principles at Oakwood in Ayala but when they reached a road that forks they went separate ways with their principles, these two soldiers still young are two men to watch for a clearer different vision of the Philippines future. They have the same vision (where they want to go) yet they have chosen seoarate missions (how to get there).

        • karlgarcia says:

          Faeldon and most of the prominent Magdalo are now with the BOC.
          I have not realized this if it waa not fir the BOC controversy.

    • popoy says:

      About Dads Karl, AT IV’s dad was in my Executive Panel along with Commander Manuel in the late 70s in the AFP-CGSC at Fort B. Admiral Jardie was then Deputy Commandant.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The senator’s dad and my dad were mistahs at the PMA (class 59).
        Admiral Jardiniano was the first or second FOIC of the Cory administration, if I am not mistaken.
        CGSC,I know almost all Colonels and Navy Captains have to go through GSC.
        Have you by any chance met my dad?

        • popoy says:

          Karl, I probably met and talk with your dad; in 1959 was with the UP Group (Cdt Col Herme Dumlao was our Section Marcher) which lived for a week in Melchor Hall with the PeeMayers (not PMAyers yet) with Gen Soliman as Suptdent and Nap Angeles as Baron. I stayed with Charlie Coy barracks, afterwards exchanged letters once with incoming Baron JMCDL Zumel. His 2nd Capt will be R Imperial.

          Cadets asked me why my Pershing Cap was different from all the others with a green lining (I was Model Coy Co in the Los Banos ROTC Unit). Rayadillo for the Model Coy is yet to come. For reasons of principles I did not apply for commissionship after finishing the Prob 2nd Lt training at Camp V Lim. Sharing this info of more than half a century ago means nothing now but water under many collapsed bridges.

          On APF-CGSC (prerequisite for the first star) , I did a five year stint as member of the Directing Staff in the UP Development Administration Module trying to inculcate civilian mode of governance during Martial Law to full colonels and Elticols. That’s about 60 students per class per year, so many I might not correctly place your Dad in what class.

      • karlgarcia says:

        OK, it is out, Some rumors I hear are true and not kuryente pala. 😉
        Would this mean another impeachment, or would this open a can of worms.
        Would these be the new flavor of the week of the news media,so we could forget about BOC which made us forget about Imee and the Ilocos 6, how will this comelec chair impeachment case affect the poll protest of BBM abd Leni?
        Will BBM be the new DILG sec and not Año?

  22. NHerrera says:


    This is the recent trend: US pivots into itself away from EU, China and Russia, while China pivots to Russia and Russia and EU thinks of pivots to China. This complicates US security moves with North Korea, the natural ally of China and Russia.

    Duterte pivots farther away from the US and pivots to China and Russia; and China and Russia are just too happy about it. they are willing to buy or buy more bananas from the BPR.

    There is a certain parallelism as in the above. Fighting ISIS-related terrorism is not made easy with the PH version of its pivot:

    * the Philippine military for decades are used to the military intelligence, methodology and weaponry not to mention the camaraderie with its US-advisers counterpart;

    * sure, China and Russia are just too willing to sell arms, something the PH soldiers have to get used to — Russia is even willing to sell submarines to PH — but military intelligence and advices on fighting terrorists, is debatable. Besides, the benefit/cost ratio to doing other than sell arms is probably not attractive. China and Russia have their own Muslim sectors, also these two countries want to maintain good relationships with Muslim countries — it may not be too nice for them to be seen as active in acts against Muslims even only in an advisory capacity.

  23. I stumbled upon the two websites below while cruising the Internet. Their authors write about PH current events. They are obviously not happy with the PH status quo and do not mince words when expressing their discontent. I often find their views to be frank, logical and devoid of histrionics. I like people who make sense and these two authors’ sites ooze beaucoup sense.



  24. jamesb says:

    Who ate all the pies!

    Growth can be organic and transactional, or dynamic and transformational, and in essence national development is about growing the macro-economic pie (via innovation and/or population), or taking a larger slice of the international pie (via competition, aquisition, and/or expansion) through an appropriate mix of strategies and policies.

    Innovation is largely dependent upon the quality of education, competition upon the type of culture, and aquisition/expansion upon the attitude to globalisation.

    The Philippines does not have a vision, or policies, which will change its current approach of a low cost labour model at home, exporting people abroad, and holding out a begging bowl for international aid. Maintaining the status quo remains paramount to the free-loading politicians and business cartels, at the expense of economic transformation, societal mobility, and global integration.

    The three stated headline goals by 2022 of, reducing poverty by 1.5% per annum (9% in 6 years), creating an additional 1 million new jobs each year (therefore 2.5 million new jobs each year in total), and achieving middle-income status by 2022, are not part of a vision, but a pipe-dream sold to a gullible electorate.
    NEDA is clearly comprised of fantasists, not economists.
    The cabinet is clearly comprised of senility, not ability.

    The money-go-round:
    Bring money – tourism
    Make money – speculators (short-term)
    Send money – ofw’s remittances
    Cash in money – sell assets
    Spend money – exports & services
    Create money – entrepreneurs/intellectual property/added value
    Invest money – capital (long-term)
    ‘Rent’ money – rent-seeking – banks, utilities, property
    ‘Gimme money’ – aid
    Illegal money – dark economy, corruption, crime

    There is insufficient focus upon home-grown manufacturing, moving agriculture up the value chain, and developing a ‘start-up’/entrepreneurial culture. Closed markets, ‘closed shops’, and closed minds in government reflect the strategic myopia.

    It is also not just the lack of separation of powers – executive, legislative, judicial – which is problematic, but the combination, and conflict, of interests between politics and business, with the unholy alliance of oligarchs and dynasties strangling innovation, sustainable growth, and equitable wealth distribution. Inequality will inevitably become worse, as will the dynastic control of political positions, national and local, which already stands at circa 65%+ of all positions. Exclusivity and cronyism, instead of inclusion and meritocracy.

    The lack of intellect and integrity of dynast duterte and his incompetent gerontocracy will make the future more akin to an keynesian nightmare, replaying the failed arroyo model with a dash of marcos madness thrown into the mix.
    20th century thinking will not solve 21st century problems.

    ‘I learnt one thing from studying economics. Economists are never right.’

  25. Sup says:

    Cayetano did 100% copy the habits of Duterte….He also went missing during the Asean event…..:-)


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